Duquesne Light Prepared For Summer Storm Season
Major storms can happen at any time and with little warning. This is especially true in the hot summer months, when any combination of heavy rain, high winds, and lightning can hit the region suddenly, sometimes leaving fallen tree limbs, flooded streets, and other problems in their wake.
Fortunately, for Duquesne Light’s 580,000 customers in Allegheny and Beaver counties, the company has invested more than $60 million on a variety of initiatives to reduce the number of – and the time required to correct – electrical outages caused by severe weather. This includes cross-training staff, circuit maintenance, equipment replacement and upgrades, and new and improved technology.
At the heart of Duquesne Light’s new storm response strategy has been the deployment of employees and equipment closer to the communities served by the company. Over the last year, Duquesne Light has increased to nine the number of neighborhood Maintenance Centers. Located in Penn Hills, McKeesport, East Liberty, Manchester, Shaler, Whitehall, Raccoon, Findlay, and Harmony, the Centers are staffed around the clock by employees who are ready to respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice.
Duquesne Light has also enhanced Electricall – a 24-hour, automated telephone hotline at 1-888-393-7000 – where customers can report outages and receive an estimated time when service will be restored. In response to customer requests, efforts are continuing to provide additional information such as the reason for and the extent of the outages. Soon customers will be able to get additional information regarding the extent of the outage and information about the cause.
To date, more than 675 remote control devices have been installed on the distribution system, enabling Duquesne Light to quickly restore power to large numbers of customers from its Operations Center. By using advanced technology, the company is able to pinpoint outages for many parts of its system and re-route power around trouble spots. As a result of these investments, personnel at the Operations Center in Manchester can remotely restore two-thirds of all power interruptions.
Staff at the Operations Center constantly monitors national weather data and use specialized tracking systems to prepare for an oncoming storm. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to coordinate work on Duquesne Light’s transmission and distribution system and respond to power outages.
Duquesne Light’s comprehensive Storm Restoration Emergency Plan quickly mobilizes personnel and equipment to respond to storm damage. Crews stationed at the company’s nine neighborhood Maintenance Centers, which normally are responsible for scheduled maintenance and service work, will shift into a storm emergency mode when storms are anticipated. Employees also have been cross-trained so they can perform multiple tasks during outages.
During a storm, as damage and power outage information is relayed to the Operations Center, the staff begins restoring outages while dispatching crews to handle such problems in the field as removing trees and branches that have fallen on power lines. When there is a major outage, Duquesne Light employees’ top priorities are to quickly restore service and to provide up-to-date information. All customer service staff go into emergency mode to better respond to residential and commercial customers’ needs.
Visit us on the Web at www.duquesnelight.com or call us at 1.888.393.7100. If visiting the customer self-service number, please press 4 - 3 - 1 immediately, then follow the directions for additional information concerning Storm Readiness Packets or Food Safety Information During Outages.
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